ASTANA – Almaty hosted the Reuse. Recycle. Reduce sustainable fashion and art event on May 31 ahead of the World Environment Day, which is marked on June 5, reported the United Nations (UN) press service.
The event was organized by the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Kazakhstan, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Halyk Bank, attracting a wide audience and inspiring participants to join the global fight against plastic pollution.
The event, which took place in the Halyk Alany square, featured a unique exhibition of art installations by Moldakul Narymbetov and Said Atabekov created from recycled materials, demonstrating problems associated with the use of plastic and its impact on the environment.
UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey said art and fashion have great potential to create change and raise awareness.
“The art installation exhibition and fashion shows allowed us to see how creativity and innovation can lead to the sustainable use of resources and the reduction of waste. The scourge of plastic pollution is a visible threat that affects every community around the world. We invite all sectors, from governments and businesses to civil society, to come together to find and support solutions. Together we can achieve positive change and create a sustainable and green future for us and for future generations,” Friberg-Storey said in her opening remarks.
One of the highlights of the event was the show of a collection of clothes created by young designers on the principle of upcycling. Creative outfits embodied the idea of reusing and recycling materials, illustrating the potential of sustainable fashion to help save the environment.
“World Environment Day 2023 is an opportunity to once again call on governments, the private sector and industry to invest more and implement solutions to stop plastic pollution. Plastic pollution poses a serious threat to the health of both humanity and the planet. It contributes to a triple planetary crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste. The theme of this World Environment Day will show possible ways to stop plastic pollution and move towards a circular economic model,” said Aidai Kurmanova, Head of UNEP in Central Asia.
The event provided an opportunity for Kazakh citizens to be inspired and make their contribution in confronting the problem of plastic pollution, reaffirming the importance of the #BeatPlasticPollution international call and highlighting the need to make sustainable and responsible decisions in everyone’s daily lives.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of World Environment Day by the UN General Assembly in 1972. More than 400 million tons of plastic are produced annually in the world, half of which is intended for single use. Of these, less than 10% is recycled. An estimated 19-23 million tons end up in lakes, rivers and seas every year. Discarded or incinerated single-use plastic harms human health and biodiversity and pollutes all ecosystems from mountain tops to the ocean floor.